Anterograde Amnesia

From Wikipedia:

Those who have theoretically pure anterograde amnesia are still able to access memories formed before its onset, but they exist in a transient world where anything beyond their immediate attention span disappears from their consciousness permanently. However, theoretically pure anterograde amnesia rarely surfaces: in reality, long-term cases nearly always occur with some degree of retrograde amnesia.

Anterograde amnesia is often informally called “short-term memory loss”, conjuring the idea, as in the movie Memento, that the problem lies with the short-term memory. For this reason, formal (correct technical or scientific) usage demands the term anterograde amnesia, since the condition is a deficit not in short-term memory but in long-term encoding.

Here’s a segment from a BBC Documentary about Clive Wearing, a person who suffers from Anterograde Amnesia.

Clive Wearing has a neurological disorder called Anterograde Amnesia which is a condition that doesn’t allow new memories to transfer into long-term memory. This means that he will never remember anything since his incident, similarly to the movie Memento.

Clive was an accomplished pianist in the 80s’, and fortunately can still play the piano flawlessly. He only remembers his wife, and anything else to him is new information, even if it was presented to him once before.

Top 7 Most Powerful Supercomputers in the World (Publicly Known)

7. Tera-10 – Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique

Built by Bull SA for France’s Atomic Energy Commision (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique), the Tera-10 is currently ranked number 7 on the Top 500 list of fastest computers in the world.

The Tera-10 consists of 544 of Bull’s NovaScale 6160 servers with each one featuring eight Dual-Core Intel Itanium processors and runs at about 42.9 Teraflops. It uses Linux as an operating system and is used for nuclear testing simulations.

6. Thunderbird – Sandia National Laboratories

Thunderbird is an 8960-processor Linux cluster developed by Dell, Inc. and currently resides at Sandia National Laboratories, a National Nuclear Security Administration lab, located in Albuquerque NM. It is considered to be a capacity cluster suited to perform many mid-sized tasks rather than a single huge task.

Thunderbird’s 53.0 Teraflops have placed it at number 6 on the Top 500 fastest computers list and it is currently used in performing weapons simulations, scale-to-device modeling of radiation effects on semiconductor electronics, and weapon-response safety in extreme thermal and impact environments.

5. MareNostrum – Barcelona Supercomputing Center

MareNostrum is currently the most powerful supercomputer in Europe which consists of 10,240 processors that can peak at 94.21 Teraflops. Its 2,560 JS21 blade computing nodes take up a space of about half a basketball court (120 m²) and is installed in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center in Barcelona, Spain.

MareNostrum is currently being used for a variety of applications which includes human genome research, weather forecasting, and drug research.

4. ASC Purple – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

ASC Purple came about through a collaboration between Lawrence Livermore Labs and IBM. Its peak of 100 Teraflops comes from a redundant ring of 196 IBM Power5 SMP servers which contain a total of 12,544 microprocessors with 50 terabytes of total memory and 2 petabytes of storage disk capacity.

ASC Purple is currently being used to conduct nuclear weapons performance simulations which normally would be tested in underground nuclear detonations.

3. BGW (Blue Gene/W) – IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Blue Gene/W or BGW, can be found in IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center and can reach a peak of 114 Teraflops by using 20 refrigerator sized racks that each consists of 1024 nodes. Every node contains two 700 MHz power 440 processors and 512 MB of memory.

Blue Gene/W main priority is to perform production science computations including biological simulations, protein folding and other projects created by worldwide IBM scientists.

2. Red Storm – Sandia National Laboratories

Red Storm is a parallel processing supercomputer designed by Cray and Sandia Laboratories to perform simulated testing on nuclear weapons stockpiling which includes designing replacement components, virtual testing of components under different conditions, and assisting in testing of weapons engineering and weapons physics.

Red Storm consists of 12,960 AMD Opteron computer nodes and can peak at 124.42 Teraflops and uses a lightweight Linux Operating System which consists of only the minimum features needed to support Red Storm’s applications.

1. Blue Gene/L – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Blue Gene/L is currently the fastest supercomputer in the world peaking at 360 Teraflops by using 65,536 processors and runs a scaled down version of Linux. It is a collaborative project among IBM, Lawrence Livermore Labs, and the US Dept. of Energy and uses a cell-based design which gives it a scaleable architecture that can be expanded by adding more building blocks without worry of introducing bottlenecks as the machine scales up.

Recently, Blue Gene/L was in the news when scientists ran a cortical simulator as complex as half of a mouse brain which is thought to have about eight million neurons with each one having up to 8,000 connections with other nerve fibers. When not mimicking half of a rodent’s brain, Blue Gene/L is being used mainly to simulate biochemical processes involving proteins.



Here’s a cool idea for a blog. Naomi is blogging the entries she found in a diary written by her grandmother in 1914 who was stranded in Europe when WWI broke out.

Dora Lourie (or Lurie) wrote this diary in July to August 1914 while on an educational trip to Europe, arranged through the Polytechnic of Central London. She and her group were in Switzerland as war was declared, and after travelling back to Liverpool became one of 120,000 US citizens repatriated by the US government.